Tiger nuts are also known as chufa nuts or earth almonds. They are small root vegetables (also called tubers). The presence of stripes on their exteriors gives them the name tiger nuts.
Tiger nuts have been cultivated since centuries. While the Egyptians and Nigerians appear to have used them first, the Spanish have been using tiger nuts to make horchata (a creamy drink) since the 18th century.
These nuts are now making a comeback, thanks to their multiple health benefits. They’re rich in a variety of nutrients and have been linked to several health benefits — ranging from better digestion to a reduced risk of heart disease.
For all these reasons and more we want to share some health benefits of the tiger nuts that make them ideal in diets designed to live a healthy life.
1. They are very high in fibre
Tiger nuts are a very rich source of dietary fibre. Over 30% of a tiger nut is made of fibre and that’s more than oats, bran and most vegetables and fruits. We all need fibre to keep our digestive system in good working order, and it call also be an aid to weight loss, by making you feel fuller for longer.
2. They help to control blood pressure
Another one of wonderful health benefits of tiger nuts is that the nuts are high in amino acids, especially one called arginine, which has been shown to be beneficial to those suffering with high blood pressure. Arginine has been clinically proven to reduce blood pressure.
3. They are a good source of magnesium
Tiger nuts are a good natural source of magnesium, which is needed by the body to help with muscle and nerve function and for the proper functioning of the immune system. Magnesium also helps to regulate the heart beat and maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
4. They are a rich source of protein
Protein is a vital ingredient used in the building of muscle, skin and bone, and tiger nits provide a rich source of protein. Tiger nuts are in fact one the best, non-meat, sources of protein that there is.
5. They help regulate blood sugar levels
Another one of great health benefits of tiger nuts is that they help regulate blood sugar levels. The insoluble fibre found in tiger nuts can be of great help to diabetics. Insoluble fibre is important to diabetics, because, unlike other carbohydrates, it does not cause peaks and troughs in the blood sugar levels.
6. Tiger nut milk can be used as a cow’s milk substitute
Tiger nut milk contains no lactose but plenty of calcium, so it makes a great alternative to cow’s milk, for people who are lactose intolerant.
7. Tiger nuts are a good source of Vitamin E
Tiger nuts are also a good source of the antioxidant, Vitamin E, which helps to protect against the damage caused by free radicals in the body. By protecting the body against free radicals, Vitamin E can help prevent both cancer and coronary diseases, as well as slow down the onset of the signs of ageing.
8. They contain the healthy fats
Another one of health benefits of tiger nuts is the they contain the healthy oils that are very similar to olive oil. The oil extracted from tiger nuts consists of around 80% unsaturated fats and only 18% of the cholesterol causing saturated fat.
9. They are a good source of vitamins
Recent studies have found that tiger nuts are brimming with vitamins and minerals. They are a superb source of Vitamins C and E and the minerals, such as potassium and phosphorus. Some yoghurt is now being made with added tiger nut milk, to boost their nutritional content.
10. Tiger nuts are so nutritious; they are being used to fight malnutrition
Tiger nuts are so packed with nutritional goodness that they are being considered as an alternative staple food in some developing countries. A study in Egypt found that tiger nuts are more nutritious and less expensive, than some other staple foods.